This is a fun lineup. I’ve got the 2011 and the 2012 Lagavulin 12 year old cask strengths side by side. Not that it’s a competition or anything… Here are my thoughts on the 2012 release. This bottle has been opened for about three weeks. Usually I give it a bit more time than that, but these Laga 12 bottles tend to peak pretty early.
Nose: A very maritime nose, with crisp, clean scents. Heavy brine, honey, intense peat, seaweed, grass, and faint butterscotch.
Palate: As expected, this is a paced, controlled arrival. Some tangy citrus, honey, woodspice, heavy peat, salt, leather, and chocolate.
Finish: Long and well structured. Leather, dried grass, dry oak, salt, sea water, peat bog, peppermint, minerals, and citrus.
Thoughts: Yeah, it’s good, but it’s not all I’d hoped. Good control, with a paced arrival and big flavours. However this will inevitably get compared to its siblings. Unfortunately this is the least interesting of the 12 year old CS releases I’ve tried. The 2011 has such density, character, and kick. It’s dynamic and punchy; I love it. Comparatively, the 2012 is on the simpler side. Less complexity, less intensity, and less dynamism. So much so that it’s a full eight points lower than the wonderful 2011. Yes, it’s still a good whisky. But if you want to try Laga 12, I suggest looking for a different vintage. 87 may be a good score, but I’ll admit I’m disappointed with this one.
Have you tried the 2010? I'm sitting on one of those.
Hah! Personally I prefer using my hands to remove the cork, but to each his own.
No, haven't tried anything earlier than the 2011, but I've heard nothing but good things about both the 2010 and the 2009 releases.